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20141105

अमेरिकाको भर्खरै सम्पन्न निर्बाचनमा आफ्नो पार्टीले बहुमत ल्याउन नसके पछी चिन्तित बाराक ओबामालेले व्हाइट हाउसमा पत्रकार सम्मेलन गरेर यसो भने !

American President Barack Obama said he hears the frustration of voters who handed control of the Senate to Republicans.

President Obama said Wednesday that he accepts the American public’s message in the midterm elections that Washington needs to break its political gridlock, even as he will now face a tougher final two years in office after Republicans won control of the Senate for the first time in seven
years.
“I hear you,” Obama said at a news conference in the East Room.
“Obviously, Republicans had a good night and they deserve credit for running good campaigns,” he added. “What stands out to me is that the American people . . . expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do, expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours. They want us to get the job done. All of us in both parties have a responsibility to address that sentiment.”
Obama’s remarks came shortly after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), fresh off his party’s sweeping victory Tuesday, sounded a bipartisan note, calling on Obama and Democratic leaders to find common ground with the GOP during the next two years. The president had spoken with McConnell, who stands to become majority leader, by phone shortly before their news conferences.
“My interactions with Mitch McConnell is he’s always been very straightforward with me,” Obama said. “To his credit, he’s never made a promise he couldn’t deliver.”
Obama cited investments in infrastructure and multi-nation trade pacts as areas of potential compromise, but he also emphasized that voters on Tuesday endorsed raising the minimum wage in several states — something Democrats have pushed in the face of Republican opposition that it would stifle business growth.
“As president, I have a unique responsibility to try to make this town work,” Obama said. “All of us have reason to make all Americans feel the ground is stable underneath their feet . . . and folks here in Washington are concerned about them.”
McConnell, who is likely to become Senate majority leader, said in a speech at the University of Louisville that just because voters pushed Democrats out of power in the Senate doesn’t mean the two parties need to be at odds.
“When the American people choose divided government, I don’t think it means they don’t want us to do anything,” he said.
The senator vowed that there will be “no government shutdown” and no “default on the national debt” under his watch. He called his relationship with Obama “cordial.” He also warned the president not to act unilaterally to reform immigration laws.
McConnell said that in addition to speaking with Obama, he also had talks with Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), a tea party favorite.
McConnell said that Democrats and Republicans can find agreement around the issues of tax reform and trade. He blamed his chamber for the gridlock of the past two years.
“The Senate was the problem, not the House,” he said. He put the onus on Obama to ease the stalemate, adding, “The Democrat that counts is the president of the United States.”
Obama began trying to pick up the pieces Wednesday in the aftermath of his party’s midterm defeat. In addition to reaching out to McConnell, he has talked to a host of other Republican and Democratic leaders.
Republican candidates won at least 10 of 13 closely contested Senate races Tuesday — including McConnell’s — and at least 10 more seats in the House.
A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations, said, “Everyone here was clear-eyed about the result” of what was unquestionably “a tough night for Democrats.”
On Tuesday night, Obama invited top GOP and Democratic leaders to meet with him at the White House. His chief of staff, Denis McDonough, has been running an internal planning process for weeks to outline what the administration hopes to achieve in the upcoming congressional session and lay out in the president’s State of the Union speech in January.
“He’s anxious to get to work,” the official said of Obama, noting that the president has participated in the planning and has emphasized to aides that he still hopes to accomplish significant results before leaving office in early 2017. “Folks feel prepared for the next chapter.”
The president spoke with 25 federal and state officials from both parties Tuesday night, according to White House officials. The list included several lawmakers Obama probably will be negotiating with in the next two years, including GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), James M. Inhofe (Okla.) and Sen.-elect Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), as well as Republican gubernatorial winners from Alabama, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Still, the election results were sobering for a president who had decisively defeated his second Republican opponent just two years ago. The GOP took seats held by Democrats in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia — more than enough to seize control of the Senate for the first time since 2007. In a year in which several Republican governors initially appeared vulnerable, the party won gubernatorial races from Florida to the high plains, including those in deep-blue Maryland and Massachusetts.
The sharp political rebuke could translate into personnel changes in the White House, although White House press secretary Josh Earnest has played down the idea of a major staff overhaul.
David Axelrod, one of the president’s longtime advisers who served in the White House during the first term, said on MSNBC on Wednesday that it would be “wise” for some aides to leave now.
“Washington always wants you to throw out bodies after a bad election, so you’ll hear that hue and cry,” Axelrod said. “But it’s also been a turbulent couple of years — a lot of his team has been there since the beginning. It’s a natural time to evaluate whether you’ve got all the pieces in place that you need, and he should do that.”
One of the most challenging policy questions the White House must grapple with in the coming days is what changes in the nation’s immigration system Obama will institute on his own through executive order. He has promised to use his executive power to address the issue after the midterms, action that could force another showdown with Congress.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who said the House deserves some of the blame for the legislation’s demise, said Obama must understand the risk of acting unilaterally.
“If he moves ahead with an executive order, that’s going to be really difficult for the House to get beyond, and the Senate, too,” he said.
The president is likely to clash with Congress over the question of whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline — which would transport heavy crude oil from Canada’s oil sands region to Gulf Coast refineries — as well as other environmental issues such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule curbing greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.
Environmentalists said Wednesday that despite their electoral setbacks, they remain confident that the president would veto any attempts to undermine his efforts to tackle climate change.
“They have been very clear and consistent in saying climate will be a top priority,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “We think he is ready to use his veto pen.”
The administration postponed making a decision on the controversial pipeline until a legal battle over its route in Nebraska is settled; Republicans may force a vote on the matter before the state’s Supreme Court rules on the matter. But Obama will have little incentive to grant the project’s sponsor, TransCanada, a permit, given that some of pipeline’s most vocal Democratic backers lost their seats Tuesday night.
Obama officials and Republican lawmakers were more optimistic that they could forge compromises on issues including trade, corporate tax reform and possibly infrastructure spending. Smaller initiatives could include legislation on cybersecurity and the expansion of a manufacturing hub program that the administration has pursued under its executive authority.
Although the administration has been unwilling to anger some Democrats by pushing for trade promotion authority this year — an initiative labor groups oppose — Republicans support the idea and are likely to join forces with the White House on the issue in the next Congress. The administration has laid the groundwork for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, holding almost 500 briefings on it since July 2013. Two-thirds of the sessions have been either bipartisan or just for Republicans.
“We can absolutely make progress on big issues, like job-creating trade agreements and tax reform, in the president’s final two years in office,” House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement before the election, “but the result will look less like the White House’s priorities and more like the American people’s priorities.”
In an interview Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he had spoken to McConnell and is confident that he “knows how to make the Senate work, and I think he’ll make us a bigger party, a better party, by allowing Democrats to have amendments and crafting bipartisan legislation.”
Paul warned that conservative House members should not expect Senate Republicans to be able to pass an aggressive, conservative bill on every front. “We’re going to need to work together,” he said. “The House needs to realize that to pass anything, we’ll need 60 votes in the Senate, and getting there is the obstacle.”
On policy, Paul said he has told McConnell in the past 24 hours that he would like the Republican-controlled Senate to turn first to corporate tax reform in the upcoming congressional session, with an emphasis on ushering profits of U.S. corporations back to the United States and enabling assets to be taxed at a lower rate.
“I’m pushing it,” Paul said. “I’ve discussed it with him and we’d have a stimulus by bringing profits back here. I say, let’s get it done in January and not wait a year to do overall tax reform.”
Republicans had reason to be confident Wednesday that they had newfound leverage with the president. They not only won in conservative open seats but defeated two Democratic incumbents who once epitomized their party’s model for winning elections in red or purple states.
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) — a gun-friendly centrist focused on home-state priorities and the son of a state Democratic legend — was defeated by Rep. Tom Cotton (R), a conservative Army veteran and Harvard Law School graduate who cast the mild-mannered Pryor as a pushover for Obama.
In Colorado, Sen. Mark Udall (D) had won his seat in 2008 stressing his long ties to the state as director of Colorado Outward Bound. On Tuesday, he was beaten by Rep. Cory Gardner (R), a folksy House member who stressed his even deeper ties to the state as a fifth-generation Coloradan.
Meanwhile, in West Virginia, Capito, a Republican congresswoman, won the race to replace the retiring Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D). Capito will be the first female senator in the state and the first Republican senator from West Virginia since the 1950s. And in Iowa, Republican Joni Ernst will become her state’s first female senator after defeating Democrat Bruce Braley.
Thom Tillis, who unseated Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), was jubilant Wednesday morning as he explained in an interview that he hasn’t slept, his voicemail is full and he has 200 unread text messages.
The election “was a referendum on President Obama,” said Tillis, wearing a black suit and white button-down shirt with no tie, as he stood in the meeting chamber in Cornelius, N.C., where he served in his first elected office as a town commissioner. “I think there were votes for me, but I think there were also votes against President Obama and Kay Hagan’s support for President Obama’s policies.”
Tillis said he was not surprised by the GOP wave, saying he looks forward to passing many of the House-approved bills that had stalled in the Democratic Senate, as well as a measure that would repeal the Affordable Care Act. Although he said Obama probably would veto any effort to overturn his signature health-care law, Tillis added, once that is out of the way he hopes the two parties can work together.
“I hope that the president will be willing to come to the table,” he said. “He can leave a legacy of bipartisanship. It hasn’t been that way for the last couple of years.”
Tuesday was also a good night for Republicans in the House. The GOP expanded the majority it won in 2010 and was within reach of gaining its largest House advantage since the 1940s.
The voting ended a long, bitter and expensive campaign season in which the dominant issue was the president. Just two years removed from a comfortable reelection, Obama has seen his image damaged by the bungled launch of his health-care program and by his reactions to crises overseas.
Republicans ran hard against him, while Democrats often ran from him. In Kentucky, McConnell’s Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, repeatedly and awkwardly refused to say even whether she had voted for Obama.
The president emphasized in radio interviews Tuesday that his party faced a difficult electoral map, comparing its task to the 1958 midterms, in which the Republican Party lost 13 Senate seats.
“This election cycle is probably the worst possible group of states for Democrats since Dwight Eisenhower,” he said on a Connecticut public radio program.
But preliminary exit polls also suggested that Obama had become a symbol of what he once ran against: Washington’s gridlock, and the inability of its leaders to move beyond partisan fighting.
David A. Fahrenthold, Wesley Lowery and Robert Costa contributed to this report.

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